Monday, February 8, 2016

Good Play Gone Bad - I Love David Tennant I Didn't Love David Tennant's Hamlet

David Tennant is a very good actor, eventually he might become a great actor.  He could be one now but I don't think his well know, well regarded TV version of Hamlet shows that except in a few instances.  Some of his delivery of the most famous speech of the play, To be or not to be.... has the best rhythm of any I've ever heard.  Others, not so much.  By the time he's said the first several lines of "Oh that this too, too solid flesh" you wonder how, since he's already coming unhinged,  he's going to act to intentionally convince the court that he's gone bonkers after he saw the ghost.  Well, by giving a stagey, unconvincing, madcap stage version of madness, mostly.  His straight acting of madness reminded me of the brilliant "bad acting" Ophelia mad scenes of Sabrina Grdevich in the great Canadian series Slings and Arrows.* I think The production design didn't help, the moderny-dress set in some dismal institutional feeling building with only the grave scene outside in a dirty Brit churchyard under dirty grey light is pretty bad.  Mariah Gale, the Ophelia,  mostly does better at playing mad though by the time she's gone mad her upper class Brit upper class cool has made it harder to believe.

I saw the movie when they had it on American TV, perhaps shortly after it was on British TV and remembered I didn't like it much.  I watched it again over the weekend, twice, and saw why I didn't like it.

Patrick Stewart as Claudius and his brother's ghost is pretty convincing throughout, especially in the scenes when he's watching his crime reenacted and when he's conspiring with Laertes, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.   The scene where Hamlet first meets his father's ghost has some problems, mostly with the direction, the embrace of the ghost with Hamlet, the rock-opera "SWEAR" that rocks the set is just stupid.

Penny Downie as Gertrude is good though I didn't find her willow speech convincing.  I liked the short scene when Laertes comes back vowing vengeance and endangering the reign of Claudius, that struck me as just right.

Some of the lesser characters were some of the most convincing, Peter De Jersey played Horatio wonderfully, for what few lines and scenes he's got.  Ryan Gage as the obsequious courtier Osric struck me as excellent, his playing of the Player Queen to  John Woodvine's fine Player King, not nearly as good.

Mark Hadfield as the grave digger was annoying instead of amusing.

It is too bad you couldn't see them all play Hamlet in a different production with some other director than Gregory Doran.  There's nothing wrong with an unconventional production except when the production distracts from the performances and the play, itself and this one so often did.  The security camera stuff was stupid.  If someone would tone down the wild-eyed crazy sane-Hamlet of David Tennant and reigned in the crazy crazy-Hamlet Tennant did it might be better.  The soliloquy filmed as a selfie is about the lowest point in it - I won't say which one because I hope it doesn't become know as the "selfie soliloquy".   I found it all more frustrating instead of compelling.  It felt too often like a dress rehearsal that the director should tell the actors to tone it down and lose some of the affectation.   I'd also restore some of the most famous lines, especially in the final minutes of the play. The death scene was too fast, too martial arts movie paced.

I would probably watch it again, it's certainly better than what's likely the most well known filmed "Hamlet" Mel Gibson in Zeffirelli's digestion of the play.  Though reading the play is a better option.

* Sabrina Grdevich played a real Ophelia at the Stratford festival in Canada, one of those performances you read about and wish you could see it, I expect it was great since she played a bad actor playing it badly so well.   If you haven't seen Slings and Arrows you are missing some of the best TV ever made written and acted by actors who knew that world better than anyone.  I generally like Canadian actors more than American or British actors, not sure why but the ones I've seen seem to know their stuff more.   And if you've gotten this far, you might know which fatheads I hope are annoyed by this piece which I'm posting in honor of Fathead Tuesday.  I'll post it later Monday if it looks like we might lose electricity.

ANDREW HILL - Black Monday

Andrew Hill, piano
John Gilmore, tenor saxophone
Bobby Hutcherson, vibraphone
Richard Davis, bass
Joe Chambers, drums

Andrew Hill's harmonic and melodic language almost always seems like afternoon light to me, long shafts of brilliant sunlight.  We're just getting into a snow storm here, early release and all.  

What's Wrong With Public Health Information? Hate Mail

You do have to wonder how many of the people who are upset with the CDC for advocating that women who might become pregnant intentionally or unintentionally, knowingly or unknowingly not drink a poison, alcohol, unless they use contraception are, nonetheless, upset with the situation in Flint Michigan in which a poison, lead, has been ingested through the tap water.

That it is the choice of a individuals in the case of alcohol and the case of criminals in the state government of Michigan and the appointed dictator in Flint doesn't really change the fact that fetuses exposed to either are at risk, in some cases for exactly the same things.

Here's a list of the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome.

Some of the behavioral and intellectual disabilities of people with FASDs include:
• Difficulty with learning or memory
• Higher than normal level of activity (hyperactivity)
• Difficulty with attention
• Speech and language delays
• Low IQ
• Poor reasoning and judgment skills
People born with FASDs can also have problems with their organs,
including the heart and kidneys.

Here's a list of symptoms of fetal lead poisoning issued to inform pregnant women

Too much lead in your body can:

• Put you at risk of miscarriage
Cause your baby to be born too early or too small
• Hurt your baby’s brain, kidneys, and
 nervous system
• Cause your child to have learning or
 behavior problems 

And those are only some of the risks from being exposed to either of those poisons, there are others, many of them identical.

It is the job of the Center for Disease Control to inform people of known health risks, what they said last week wasn't a call for legislation to make it illegal for women who are fertile to drink.  That's NOT their responsibility.  Apparently some people figure that it's better for people to not be informed of known health risks.    If you want to discuss what ambitious, unscrupulous prosecutors might do with that information in targeting women for the own political advancement, yes, that's a big problem, a big overreach in many of the known cases but that's still no reason for the CDC to not issue health advice on the basis of known risks.  That's their job, it would be unethical and immoral for them to suppress that information.

The politicization of pregnancy in the career advancement of prosecutors, that's another issue, entirely, a question of politics, not of public health.

Oh, Come On, Stop Pretending Your Favorite Sport Isn't A Fascist Institution

Is there anything more hilarious than the shock and hurt on leftish blogs when they feign to discover, like for the millionth time, that American football players are likely to be right-wing Republicans?   

What's to be surprised?  They make their living in what might be the most heavily subsidized entertainment industry in the world, literally from cradle to the end of their career it's way more than just likely that tax payers are paying most if not the entire bill for the infrastructure that they play in. Their training, their coaching, the seeming scores of referees, etc.   I can guarantee you that hardly anyone in the arts enjoys a small fraction of that level of public funding if any.   I don't know of a musician who ever got the government to pay for their instruction.  Oh, yeah, and if you hear some football jock on the topic, they're more than likely whining about money going to poor people and public services to people other than themselves. 

Then there is the huge salaries making these baby-men  multimillionaires for playing a game, their incomes making it statistically unlikely that they're going to be liberals.  

Then there is the macho entitlement that is the culture of football even more so than most other men's sports.  I'd rather have my niece dating a member of a rock band than a football team.  

The list could go on and on.  Yet on lefty blogs last night there was a pantomime of shock and outrage that one of the players was a JEB! Bush supporter and another one was a Trump supporter....

American football, most sports are a fixture of corporate-imperial culture, there is nothing about it which isn't a glorification of violence and winning at the risk and cost of actual lives, it is the American version of the Roman imperial "games" just by other means.  Of course other than the odd working class guy who remembers his roots football players are Republicanfascists, Republicanfascism has worked very well for them, all round.   

An Exchange On Another Blog

This is an exchange I've been having on another blog.  "Camera Obscura" is the name I use on Disqus, it seems to have successfully confused the several poeple who troll me on other blogs, two of whom are Duncan Black's "Brain Trusters".  I've noted that his blog is a source of harassment of former members of his alleged community before.   Still true three years later.

Camera Obscura • 3 days ago
Nursing the second member of my immediate family who is dying from the effects of alcoholism - he's mumbling in a reclining chair while having a hallucination as I write this - I have to say that I am finding it impossible to see a down side to total abstinence for everyone. Though I do see your point it is a fact that there are health consequences to drinking and potential problems for a child born to someone who drank heavily while pregnant, those are hard truths. The chance someone is willing to take in doing that should be made on the basis of information. Drinking is more realistically seen as a responsibility to avoid harm than as a right. The consequences of drinking carry exigencies that make abstract assertions of rights rather moot.

My guess would be that more children are injured and damaged and killed from alcoholic males after they are born, but that's just based on reading about people who are prosecuted for injuring babies and young children when drunk and as a consequence of car accidents.

Lee Rudolph  Camera Obscura • a day ago
I have to say that I am finding it impossible to see a down side to total abstinence for everyone.

Impossible? Really?

There are people who get pleasure from drinking alcohol, and neither suffer bad effects from it nor cause other people to suffer. There are others—as you say, alcoholics, and as you imply (correctly) some or all of the people who interact with (or are related to, or are neighbors of, or..., or..., alcoholics or alcoholically impaired drivers or ...)—who do suffer and/or cause suffering because they drink alcohol. It isn't immediately obvious (to me) that the first group's losing those pleasures (by having "total abstinence" imposed upon them) isn't "a down side" even though it immediately obvious that if the second group's suffering could be made to cease (by having "total abstinence" imposed upon alcoholics) then that would be an "up side".

I guess that a calculus of balancing downs and ups is not immediately obvious. But I would reject any proposal for such a calculus that doesn't reckon pleasure at all, and considers only suffering. (I'm not saying that you are making such a proposal.)

Camera Obscura  Lee Rudolph • a day ago
Perhaps you have to watch two people die horrible deaths from alcoholism to see what I mean. I mean their abdomens horribly distended with ascites, looking like they are full term pregnant, more so on their right side with hepatic hydrothorax until a blood vessel in their esophagus bursts and they die choking on blood. That's the way my first brother died of it.

People get pleasure from smoking cigarettes. Give me the down side of total abstinence from tobacco.

Lee Rudolph  Camera Obscura • a day ago
I just don't see how any such horror can possibly be relevant to the question of universal abstention. Why should people who aren't alcoholics, and therefore are not going to make anyone watch them die horrible deaths from alcoholism, not drink for their own pleasure (if they also do it in such a way that they don't drive after drinking, etc., etc.)?

Smoking tobacco is, maybe, a somewhat different case. But there's nothing honestly analogous to "second-hand smoke" for alcohol.

Camera Obscura  Lee Rudolph • 20 hours ago
Drinking too much can harm your health. Excessive alcohol use led to approximately 88,000 deaths and 2.5 million years of potential life lost (YPLL) each year in the United States from 2006 – 2010, shortening the lives of those who died by an average of 30 years.1,2 Further, excessive drinking was responsible for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20-64 years. The economic costs of excessive alcohol consumption in 2010 were estimated at $249 billion, or $2.05 a drink.

That doesn't count those who are not chronic alcoholics who die as a result of alcohol or at the hands of those who are drunk. The same document notes:

"Most people who drink excessively are not alcoholics or alcohol dependent."

And, then, there is the issue not covered in that document, people killed by drunk drivers, drunk operators of machinery, etc. You don't have to be drunk to kill yourself or someone else with alcohol. Drunk driving, etc. is the second-hand smoke of alcohol.

The biggest problem with prohibition was it didn't work, it didn't keep people from drinking, it enabled organized crime. If it had succeeded, if it had completely stopped alcohol consumption in the United States the benefits would have massively outweighed any alleged down side. I'd never advocate prohibition be tried again, I'm in favor of decriminalizing most of the drugs with heavy control of their distribution and use by the government.

But I've learned, the hard way, that advocating drinking in the media, in movies and TV shows and on the radio has produced awful results. I would certainly take liquor sales out of grocery stores and make it harder to get while having real and effective anti-alcohol education in the media and in schools.

The idea that there is a right to drink alcohol is stupid, what there is is a responsibility of people to use a potentially dangerous substance responsibly in a way so as not to do harm. Considering he behavior of men who are drunk, far more so than women who are drunk, their propensity to attack people, to rape people, etc. it is insane for anyone to think that they are exercising a right by getting into the condition where they are more likely to do that.

Lee Rudolph  Camera Obscura • 16 hours ago
I deliberate avoid using the language of "rights"; if I did use it, I would probably agree that "the idea that there is a right to drink alcohol is stupid". But I also think that your original statement, that there is no downside to total abstinence (from alcohol) for everyone, is stupid—because depriving people of pleasure that does not harm anyone (or, perhaps, does not harm anyone else) is cruel, and advocating cruelty is stupid. You surely do not advocate total abstinence, for all, from sex; yet such abstinence would undeniably improve some peoples' health! This is, in fact, where we came in.

Camera Obscura  Lee Rudolph • 15 hours ago
I certainly advocate abstinence from any sex that carries a great potential for harm, I think the current fad for anal sex is insane after seeing what it can lead to since the 1980s - I certainly wouldn't want to see it criminalized again, but promoting it is immoral and insane considering that experience. I would certainly advocate anyone who is infected with an STD to not engage in any form of sex which carries a risk of spreading it. I would advise any heterosexuals who don't want to have children, if they aren't going to use effective contraception, to abstain from coitus engaging in forms of sex that don't carry that danger.

But all forms of sexual relations don't carry risks, last time I looked into it, frottage was associated with no known risk of infection and only among heterosexuals, in some specific forms risking unwanted pregnancy. I'd advocate anyone practicing it to do so with full information and with adequate responsibility.

If you can tell me how someone can drink alcohol without the aspects of it which risk injury due to impairment or addiction, real things that result from having alcohol in the bloodstream and nervous system happening in their bodies, I might consider your claim. I don't see how the two can be equated.

ethel  Camera Obscura • a day ago
There are in fact health benefits from moderate consumption of alcohol, which is not true of tobacco.

Camera Obscura  ethel • 20 hours ago
I doubt there are significant health benefits to drinking moderate amounts of alcohol, certainly none that outweigh the potential dangers of it and the fact that a percentage of people who begin by drinking moderately put themselves at danger of becoming an alcoholic. That is a real phenomenon, it's not some hack script writers' fodder for mockery.

ethel  Camera Obscura • 4 hours ago
Any number of studies have shown that non-drinkers have an increased risk of premature death compared to light and moderate drinkers. That holds even for those who are lifelong abstainers (i.e., it's not because the non-drinkers are all people who have given up alcohol because of alcoholism or because their health was already bad).

Obviously one's individual risk of alcoholism should be factored heavily in the decision, as should interactions with other medications (especially in elderly people), etc., but I don't think there is medical evidence favoring a blanket policy of total abstention for everyone.

Camera Obscura  ethel • 9 minutes ago
There are better ways to improve the statistics on heart disease than drinking alcohol, decreasing the intake of saturated fats and the moderate intake of fats that are beneficial to coronary health. Neither of those carries the risk of occasional intoxication, even mild intoxication increases the chances of accidents and mild intoxication can so often turn into serious intoxication as anyone who has drunk or been around drinkers certainly has observed. Alcoholism isn't the only level of drinking associated with those results of drinking.

Alcohol interactions with other drugs is also a problem, for example, the cases of interaction with acetaminophen are associated with kidney failure and liver disease. Not to mention all kinds of other interactions that can happen with even moderate alcohol use.

Who said anything about "a blanket policy" of total abstention? What policy did I advocate other than that the media not promote alcohol use and that its distribution be regulated? There is a difference between promoting abstinence and prohibition. What I said that got people upset is that I didn't see any down side to total abstention from drinking alcohol. Other than the handful of studies that show a small association between moderate alcohol consumption and a smaller percentage of heart disease - which isn't, by the way, a positive correlation between the alcohol and those effects - I don't see that there has been one asserted. The health benefits of not drinking at all would, I am certain, more than outweigh the alleged benefits.

I'm not unrealistic, I don't think for a second that any country is going to have no alcohol use, I'm saying that if that were possible the benefits would be enormous. Consider the absence of alcohol caused accidents, the absence of alcohol induced violence. I would guess that there would be a decrease in attacks on people and I think women and children would probably be the primary beneficiaries of that. Even if half as much alcohol were consumed in the United States the benefits would far outweigh any alleged benefits of moderate drinking. And that's not to mention that in so many cases "moderate drinking" is claimed by those who definitely have a problem with alcohol. My family members whose drinking came to control their lives claimed that they were moderate drinkers for a time well after that wasn't true. If the studies are based on self-reporting - and just about all of them are - I wouldn't trust them to present a realistic general picture of the actual situation.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hate Mail

I don't know which one is the bigger phony, Simpy or Freki (JR as she sometimes is).   So I'll ignore them both, equally.   

Prairie Home Companion After Two Weeks of Chris Thile

Chris Thile is very talented, very energetic, very versatile and charismatic, not to mention extremely good looking, but if Prairie Home Companion is going to turn into The Chris Thile Concert-Show it's a big mistake.  Maybe it's the difference between a writer turned performer and a performer turned writer but he could put himself in the background a bit more of the time.   He's just starting and maybe he'll get the hang of it but if it's going to be all about him it doesn't need two hours every week.  He needs to remove himself from some of the segments, many of the skits.  He's established his talent he doesn't need to prove it.  Some of his friends are also very talented but in the context of this weeks show it kind of grated at times.  

I can understand Garrison Keillor deciding to retire, it must have been an enormous amount of work to produce that many shows a year not to mention the touring.   I don't have any problem with the show changing with a new host, every job ends, every career ends and even popular art needs to constantly hear from new minds and voices to be worth anything.  It's wrong to want it to stay the same thing that it was, it should reflect the new host.   I wish Chris Thile and the rest of the staff years of success and think they'll probably make the adjustment.   

NPR Is Useless

The NPR alleged reporter, the Bush II -fawning former White House correspondent and otherwise total hack, Don Gonyea, just delivered one of the stupidest things I've ever heard on that network.

Apparently he didn't bother to do the research and no one has bothered to tell the jerk that The Old Man of the Mountain, that semi-famous bunch of rocks that kinda, sorta, looked like a man's profile, fell off the mountain in 2003 and is a bunch of random rubble on the side of the mountain.  But, then, NPR has had pretty much the same report on the New Hampshire Primary every four years since forever, the names changed, not much else.

And the song, The Old Man of the Mountain isn't about that bunch of rocks.

This Is A Difference Between A Bill of Rights From Slave Owners in the 1780s And One Informed By The Next Two Centuries

Prohibitions against publications 14(1) 

No person shall publish, display or cause or permit to be published or displayed on any lands or premises or in any newspaper, through any radio broadcasting station, or by means of any other medium which he owns, controls, distributes or sells, any notice, sign, symbol, emblem or other representation tending or likely to tend to deprive, abridge or otherwise restrict, because of the race, creed, religion, colour or ethnic or national origin of any person or class of persons, the enjoyment by any such person or class of persons of any right to which he or it is entitled under the law. 

(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as restricting the right to freedom of speech under the law, upon any subject. 

1947, c.35, s.14; R.S.S. 1953, c.345, s.14

From The Saskatchewan
Bill of Rights Act

If that were part of the United States Constitution there would be no FOX, cabloid or radio 24-7-365 assault on the rights of individuals or groups, the present front runners in the Republicanfascist nomination would all be in violation of the law instead of poised to have a good chance of running the country and appointing fascists to the Supreme Court.

Instead we have the idiotic, 18th century, slave owner favoring thing we've got and which we won't change because they and our subsequent history made it almost impossible for our Constitution to incorporate what it should have learned by 1947 if not by 1865,

Saturday, February 6, 2016

This Is My Ideal Presidential Candidate

I'm a realist, I know that Bernie Sanders isn't going to be president, anyone who believes he is is either stupid of delusional.   He's not going to get the nomination, barring some drastic and catastrophic occurrence.  I say that as someone who would love to have Bernie Sanders as president.  But while we're wishing, I can only wish that our political system could produce a Reverend Tommy Douglas of Saskatchewan,  the most successful leftist  politician in American history.

Hate Mail - Simpemantus

I am persuaded that it was the greatest of unambiguously identified figures in English literature, the acknowledged genius of the time, Francis Bacon, who wrote the plays and poems* by the case that is made by the so-called "Baconians".   

Whereas the champions of the Stratford money-lender and hoarder Shaksper (more likely one of Timon's host of villains) have only fictitious narrative and conjecture to back up their claims, the Baconians have evidence and rational arguments. The champions of Shaksper* have tradition and a financial establishment behind them, not to mention the coercion of conventional and ignorant orthodoxy, they don't have a case.   People have to invent a case in the form of fiction out of nothing for their candidate which stupid people and conventional academics mistake and replace for actual biography.  

I wasn't aware until the other day that there had been extensive writing about how Timon of Athens - unknown before 1623,  seven years after the death of Shaksper - so closely mirrored the contemporary events in Francis Bacon's downfall.  Reading that I'm more convinced than ever that he's the guy who wrote the plays and poems and that he had an extremely good reason to keep his identity as the author of the plays concealed as he was under attack from those close to James I.  

And I know saying it bugs that unread champion of  mid-brow orthodoxy who likes to lie about what I write.   I like to annoy him and his fellow boobs. 

*   Two Inns of Court lawyer-poets, Joseph Hall and John Marston, in an exchange of  Satires published between 1597-1598, identify Francis Bacon as the author of the 
Shakespeare poems, Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece.

And that's only one small piece of the evidence. 

**  Who can't be documented to have ever owned or read a book and who couldn't even spell his own name in the only samples of his illiterate letter scrawling we have, a man who would have had to hand-write more than 900,000 words to have produced the plays but who couldn't even spell his own name in legal documents with reliability.  He scrawled his own name in different ways on different pages of his will, for crying out loud. 

I've looked at photographs of the signatures of other authors of the period and haven't found any with such an erratic signature or one other prominent writer whose verified signatures are so uniformly unrelated to anything having to do with literature.  

Update:  Stupy thinks I'm going to get worked up by a Republicanfascist-atheist hack, Susan Jacoby, whining about the rote repetition of the command "God bless America" at the end of speeches given by Republicanfascist politicians.   While I could go into Jacoby's misrepresentation of the Pew measure of that fictitious group, "Nones" a misrepresentation that is both ubiquitious in the media and the clear intention of both the guy who invented "Nones", the atheist ideologue, Barry Kosmin, and the folks at Pew who intentionally use it to get in the media, I'll not bother to repeat that point, yet again.

I can point out that I have openly opposed not only the imperative "God bless America" as used in politics, I've pointed out that Edward Elgar made the same point about "God Save The King," it's blasphemous to command God to do anything  and it is certainly in violation of the commandment to not take the Lord's name in vain.   I've also, repeatedly, said how much I hate the song Irving Berlin wrote on that command. 

Bad Times And What I'm Reading

We've got our hands full with taking care of our brother, he's too well for the hospital to have to take back but too bad to take care of himself.  If I didn't know it was futile I'd propose a steep tax on cheap liquor to pay for taking care of people who kill themselves with it before they die.   I can't see but that problem is going to get worse.

There isn't much time to write and, from what you can see, I'm in a pretty bad mood so I probably shouldn't  It's going to be re-posts and posts of other things.

On the other hand, I have decided to read what I can manage of Walter Brueggemann's work, working up to his most scholarly books on the Old Testament.  I've begun with a book from the mid 1970s, The Bible Makes Sense, which was written as an introduction for the general audience - the short introduction in the edition I have calls it a "how-to book",  but which I'm sure I'll have to read several times to make any good progress in.  His discussions of various models of reality, industrial-scientific, existentialist, transcendentalist and comparing them to what he makes a persuasive case for as being the Biblical, covenental-historical model, is short but quite profound.  The depth and breath of his reading of scriptures which are easily mocked when read on a superficial level or at the level of fundamentalism, is a revelation.   In the forty years separating the book and today, his understanding of the scriptures and their relevance in life are remarkably stable, from what I can tell.  Here is a video On Idolatry posted a month ago.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Hate Mail

Ah, no, Stupy is just making that stuff up, his audience doesn't care if it's true or not.   February 9, that's the cut off date, no more about them till after Easter.  In honor of this year's abstinence I'm thinking of it as "fathead Tuesday". 

"Let's You and Her Fight" No

A while back, in relation to my ongoing war with Duncan Black and his blog, someone pointed out that another blogger, who I respect very highly, frequents his blog and, occasionally, posts the odd filler thread while Duncan is off doing whatever he does with the large stretches of time he doesn't write material for his blog.   If she reads this she knows who she is.   I think there couldn't be a more marked difference between her blog and his.   I can't, for the life of me understand why she hasn't been picked up to write for pay by a magazine, I can understand why he hasn't.  She writes English better as a second language than most people do as a first language and her thinking is far more logical and disciplined than the large majority of the big time blogger-"journalists".  In regard to her and Eschaton, she's old enough to make her own bad friends, she can do what she chooses to.  An adult would understand that one of their friends doesn't need their approval for what they choose to do, some people do grow up.  

I still respect her work and wish she wrote more, though we have some major differences in our view of things.  

That doesn't mean I have to overlook that Eschaton has become a place where people lie about what other people have said with the obvious approval of its owner.   He has gone past the point of mere tacit acceptance in that matter.  Nor am I required to ignore that I'm one of those people who is attacked there.  

Update:  Let me guess, someone did some research for you, Simps.  

Reading The Bad Plays - Timon of Athens

Timon of Athens is what happens when a fairy tale dies on stage and goes to hell.  I actually don't think it's a bad play, though it has its problems.

The story is simple, Timon, an Athenian aristocrat gives away is fortune to people who he wants to be his friends, to people who flatter him.   In fact he give more than that away and builds up huge debts.  When the rainy day comes and his creditors come a calling, en masse, he asks those who he gave it all away to to bail him out, only to be refused.  At first he tries to blame his steward but he's able to point out that he was warning Timon that he was giving more than he had to give.  Timon, of course, loses it all and takes it on the lam and the last act is one, long misanthropic tirade by the former philanthropist.   He's such a misanthrope that the town cynic, Apemantus goes looking for him, accusing him of stealing his shtick and finds that the former philanthropist has outdone him with his disdain and hatred of humanity.   There is a side plot Alcibiades, "an Athenian captain" who is done dirty by the "Senate" and banished raising an army of mercenaries to attack the city he had once given service to.  He finds Timon in the woods outside of Athens and finds that even though Timon supports his attack he hates Alcibiades even as he tries to commiserate with him.   Of course such things as the infamous name, Alcibiades being some kind of patriot when the real guy was a back stabbing creep and there being a "senate" in Athens and other such things show this is not exactly historically informed drama, it's a fairy tale.  As such I wouldn't hold it to the same standards as even a play like King John should be.

As always, there is some good poetry in the play, if you were hard up for fancy insults the fifth act is a really good place to go looking for them.  If I were directing it I'd cut a lot of that act, even reading it on the page fast the pace sags after a few minutes.  The scene where Apemantus goes to tell off his rival misanthrope only to get back better than he gives could be rather funny.  I can think of a number of contemporary pop culture figures he could be made up as, a conceited jerk whose act is to be a smart guy on TV.    Unlike the truly awful Pericles, I would probably pay to see it acted.  

One really nice scene is where Timon's servants are losing their position, their work and their homes and wondering what's to become of them, they show more concern for each other than the aristocrats do, Flavius, the steward, shares his little money with them, presenting them as more noble than the nobility.  If I were interested in trying to identify who wrote the plays, I'd look for something like that in his other writing.  It certainly isn't in keeping with that stingy creep. the illiterate most people were taught wrote them.

Update:  I'm Definitely Going To Have To Re-read it Now

We're having a snow day here and my brother is mostly sleeping so I've got time to play online.  I just found this article about Timon of Athens


The "Shakespeare" Play, Timon of Athens, was never printed in quarto and, so far as is known, never produced on any stage, previously to its appearance in the First Folio of 1623. Contemporary literature gives no hint of its existence prior to 1623. The question may therefore be asked ''If this play was written by Will Shaksper, where was the manuscript during the period between Shaksper's death in 1616 and its appearance seven years afterwards in the Folio?"

If it was sent by Shaksper to Heminge and Condell, then it is remarkably strange that they did not inform the literary coterie in London that they had in their possession a brand-new play by Shaksper which had never been heard of before! If for some unknown reason they wished to keep this fact secret, then surely when they were gathering together the plays for publication in the Folio they would have been only too delighted to have informed the Reader that they were printing for the first time a Shakespeare play which had never been performed on any stage.

On the other hand, they give the reader the impression that all the plays printed in the Folio were known to the public, because in their preface

"To the Great Variety of Readers'' they state that ''these Plaies have had their triall alreadie and stood out all applause" and "before you were abused with diverse stolne and surreptitious copies."

They also say 'What he thought, he uttered with that easinesse, that we have scarce received from him a blot in his papers,'' which implies that they had received the manuscripts of the plays direct from the author's hands.

Will Shaksper having died seven years before the publication of the Folio, this must mean that Shaksper had handed over this play of Timon of Athens to Heminge and Condell in his lifetime, and if this was so it is certainly extraordinary that Heminge and Condell never mentioned this fact to anybody.

Ulrici referring to this play, writes that ''no one could have painted misanthropy with such truth and force without having experienced its bitter agony." Yet Sir Sidney Lee writes that "Shakspere's career shows an unbroken progress of prosperity and there is no support for the suggestion of a prolonged personal experience of tragic suffering."

On the other hand, the experiences of Francis Bacon after his fall from power are precisely similar to those of Timon in this play, because he suffered from the ingratitude of a great number of his so-called friends who deserted him, as witness his letters to Buckingham and King James. It must be remembered that Bacon fell from power in 1621, and the play of Timon is first heard of two years afterwards, in 1623.

If that's the case then I'm betting that a lot of what was said in Timon's long diatribes and in the way that his "friends" brushed him off, perhaps the noble character of Timon's steward, Flavius might carry clues about Francis Bacon's own experience.   It might make it a whole other play from what a surface reading of it would show.  I wonder if the name of the cynic who accuses Timon of stealing his act only to be upstaged by him, "Apemantus" (ape man to us?) might have some relation to the famous poem by Ben Jonson "Poet ape"

On Poet-Ape
Ben Jonson, 1572 - 1637

 Poor Poet-Ape, that would be thought our chief, 
   Whose works are e’en the frippery of wit, 
From brokage is become so bold a thief, 
   As we, the robb’d, leave rage, and pity it. 
At first he made low shifts, would pick and glean, 
   Buy the reversion of old plays;  now grown 
To a little wealth, and credit in the scene, 
   He takes up all, makes each man’s wit his own: 
And, told of this, he slights it.  Tut, such crimes 
   The sluggish gaping auditor devours; 
He marks not whose ‘twas first: and after-times 
   May judge it to be his, as well as ours. 
Fool!  as if half eyes will not know a fleece 
   From locks of wool, or shreds from the whole piece? 

I seem to recall reading that Jonson was staying with  Bacon when he wrote his gushy and only mention of William Shakespeare.   As I recall the person who mentioned that noted that Jonson was one of the most sarcastic writers who ever lived.   As I also recall the (in)famous effigy bust of Shakespeare is known to have been altered, it originally had him holding a sack of what is presumed to be wool, only later altered to have him holding a pen.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

And More on HIV In The News

I can't help myself, I hope that Martin Shkreli ends up in the general population of one of our horror movie prisons, I want to see the smug grin wiped permanently off of his face that badly. 

Though, really, the science deniers and liars at booby blue are as bad.  I mean you Simps and Friki and your even stupider Eschatots.   Spreading infection is just as bad, maybe worse than what he did. 

I'm Told That This News Is Supposed To Make Me Upset

"They just knighted Van Morrison"

They also knighted Ronald Reagan, in 1989.   Though he probably thought he was on a sound stage and expected to gun down a dragon with his six gun as he liberated a concentration camp. 

Update:  And I just looked it up, they also knighted George H.W. Bush, Don of the Bush Crime Family, in 1993.  

Update 2:  And this season's #1 favorite dead rocker, David Bowie turned down a knighthood. 

A few rock stars have been knighted, including Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Sir Mick Jagger – much to the anger of his fellow Rolling Stone, Keith Richards, who felt that Jagger should have declined … like another of Sir Mick’s friends, David Bowie. Bowie turned down a knighthood in 2003. “I would never have any intention of accepting anything like that,” he said. “I seriously don't know what it's for. It's not what I spent my life working for.”

It's ever so much classier to have been offered the meaningless title and turned it down than to have allowed yourself to become a fixture in the stinking British class system. 

Update 3:  I don't think I'll ever be able to think of Steve Simels without thinking of  Hyacinth  Bucket from now on.  Who knew he was the kind of guy who was impressed with the Queen's Honors List.  He's just a star struck teeny-bopper at heart. 

Hate Mail

Um, I know he's officially been declared a scientist and all, but someone should point out to the dolt that prostate cancer isn't a sexually transmitted disease.   Apparently he didn't catch that nuance in his attempt at ridicule.   Apparently he thinks the CDC has it wrong and that promiscuity isn't a cause of sexually transmitted disease infection.  Reminds me of the kind of math that Richard Dawkins does with aviary "altruism".    I swear, if the comments at Duncan's get stupider it'll be called the booby blue blog. 

Apparently you can catch senility there.  Which might account for the writing production over the years.   

Behind The Pose of Sciencyness Is Just Pose

I have got a few minutes to address the adolescent-senescent set who went hysterical over my blog post.

The scientists at the Center for Disease Control have been trying to come up with strategies for reducing the rate of infections with sexually transmitted disease, probably since it was formed seventy years ago.  That would cover the lifetimes of most of the idiots who babble on blogs, even the Geritol and Cialis set sponsored at Eschaton.   Being a gay man who witnessed the AIDS epidemic among gay men, first hand, I've read quite a bit of their published science over the past three decades and longer.  Every single thing that they have ever put out carries the entirely unsurprising and logically unavoidable fact that promiscuity spreads infection with sexually transmitted diseases.

Here is what just one of their publications have to say about Sexual Risk Behaviors: HIV, STD, & Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Many young people engage in sexual risk behaviors that can result in unintended health outcomes. For example, among U.S. high school students surveyed in 20131
  • 47% had ever had sexual intercourse.
  • 34% had had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months, and, of these
    • 41% did not use a condom the last time they had sex.
  • 15% had had sex with four or more people during their life.
  • Only 22% of sexually experienced students have ever been tested for HIV.*
Sexual risk behaviors place adolescents at risk for HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unintended pregnancy:
  • Nearly 10,000 young people (aged 13-24) were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States in 2013.2
  • Young gay and bisexual men (aged 13-24) accounted for an estimated 19% (8,800) of all new HIV infections in the United States, and 72% of new HIV infections among youth in 2010.3
  • Nearly half of the 20 million new STDs each year were among young people, between the ages of 15 to 24.4
  • Approximately 273,000 babies were born to teen girls aged 15–19 years in 2013.5
To reduce sexual risk behaviors and related health problems among youth, schools and other youth-serving organizations can help young people adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support their health and well-being—including behaviors that reduce their risk for HIV, other STDs, and unintended pregnancy. The National HIV/AIDS Strategy calls for all Americans to be educated about HIV. This includes knowing how HIV is transmitted and prevented, and knowing which behaviors place individuals at greatest risk for infection. HIV awareness and education should be universally integrated into all educational environments.

The ability of people who have been to college - or so they tell us - to deny that is an important issue in the matter of new infections, people in their late middle age, people who lived during the time that the AIDS epidemic killed massive numbers of Americans - even as it still kills massive numbers of people in poor countries is something that would have once staggered me.  I have to say that reading the juvenile babbling of the soon to be senile going on like that in 2016 is something that doesn't surprise me any more than listening to Sarah Palin's lunatic ranting blaming her son's criminal activity on Barack Obama.  Being exposed to such stupidity for years has inured me to reading it among the arrogant, conceited, supposedly educated class in the United States.   And those are the same guys who wonder at the stupidity of other people.

One other thing, I don't call myself a "progressive" I am a traditional American liberal in the original sense of that word.  I am not a late 18th century style liberal which is a totally different thing.   My folks are the ones who ended slavery and tried to establish universal enfranchisement and economic justice and the moral obligation to other people, being responsible.  They're the ones who figured irresponsibility and self-centered thinking should be promoted as freedom.

And People Wonder Why I Don't Like Duncan Black And His Baby Blue Blog Bunch

Here is the reaction that my post on sexually transmitted disease got at what is passed off as a major blog of the left.  

Steve Simels, blog malignancy • 11 hours ago

And Now We Find Out That Zika Virus Can Be Transmitted Sexually

Jeebus, dude, you're practically wetting yourself in excitement.

Freki  Steve Simels, blog malignancy • 11 hours ago
women must be punished for having sex

Steve Simels, blog malignancy  Freki • 11 hours ago
Hell, yeah!!!

Freki  Steve Simels, blog malignancy • 11 hours ago
Holy fuckballs!

the commercial sex industry is given free reign to flood any scientific advice on not hooking up and sleeping around with the promotion of sexual irresponsibility and, so, immorality. The sci-guys who can be counted on to howl at anti-vaxxers are the same people, by and large, who tell scientific medicine to take shut up when it comes to sex as a vector of infection and disease.

Steve Simels, blog malignancy  Freki • 11 hours ago
Atheism. It's always atheism.

MsInformed  Steve Simels, blog malignancy • 11 hours ago
and sex/pleasure is immoral

Freki  Steve Simels, blog malignancy • 11 hours ago
and remember, this waffleiron calls himself a "progressive"
Steve Simels, blog malignancy  Freki • 11 hours ago
A real one.

Freki  Steve Simels, blog malignancy • 10 hours ago
so long as the only progress made is for old gay prudes

Thurb  Freki • 10 hours ago
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if the guy has ever been abstinent out of choice (there were women or men interested but he had to stay safe/pure/whatever)? I'm always amazed at how it is almost all about how women are the evil ones for having sex, but we have to understand when males just can't keep their purity promises - if they made them to begin with. 
I recognize that so many of our patriarchal societies have really nasty punishments for women who fail because it is really about property not sex. But to ignore that it takes two to do anything more than masturbate really does make it clear unless you are a friggin' idiot.

Freki  Thurb • 10 hours ago
he's irish catholic. does that explain a bunch?

Thurb  Freki • 10 hours ago
Some. Most of the ones I know would know that was bull shit. ;-)

Freki  Thurb • 10 hours ago
think of it this way... he's an old irish catholic gay misogynist... and a progressive who supports terrorism. terminally confused is his natural state

Thurb  Freki • 10 hours ago
Yeah, that is tough bunch of guilt, hatred and anger to keep juggling and justifying.
Freki  Thurb • 10 hours ago
well, he doesn't logic good

Thurb  Freki • 10 hours ago
and recognizing reality also appears to be difficult for him from the various reports.

Freki  Thurb • 10 hours ago
weren't you here when he said that murder was OK, so long as the victim was british?

Thurb  Freki • 10 hours ago
No, I missed that stellar bit of logic.

Needless to say none of what they said was true.  As anyone who read what I wrote could easily see. For example, "women must be punished for having sex", the fact is, the word "woman" appears nowhere in the text of the piece, not that Duncan's brain trusters would have let them stop them from claiming that.  A good percentage of them are habitual liars and, as I've pointed out, at Duncan's blog, they provide the content.   From what I understand, the one case of sexual transmission of Zika that was reported on OCCURRED WHEN A WOMAN WAS INFECTED BY A MAN WHO HAD HAD SEX WITH SOMEONE ELSE, for all I know he was the only man she ever had sex with in her entire life.  I have no idea of the gender of that someone else was, for all you could tell from the news report, it might have been another man.  Certainly no women were involved in the discussion of gay men having sex with multiple partners, which most of what I wrote was about since it was based on my experience of watching large numbers of gay men dying as a result of having sex with lots of men.

Needless to say I never endorsed the murder of anyone, especially Brits.  Probably more Brits have been murdered by the British class system than by anyone else and it's gotten especially strong criticism from me.  The British poor, especially as treated by Darwin and his followers, marked with biological inferiority and marked for elimination when not useful for their labor, are the ones whose killing was OKed but it certainly wasn't by me.

More generally, I suppose I should be grateful for the Eschaton Brain Trusters for demonstrating my point about how the champions of science go completely stupid when it comes to applying scientific knowledge to sexual activity.  Anyone who doesn't get that if you have sex with a lot of different people you increase your chances of contracting STDs AND THAT THAT IS ABOUT AS SIMPLE AND HARD A FACT OF BOTH SCIENCE AND MATH AS YOU COULD FIND, is just too stupid to be told that they're smart.

I think I'm going to have to just stop reading my e-mail for Lent.  It's just too tempting to post the stupidity of these guys when it's brought to my attention.